Iran congratulates Turkey on holding successful elections

The AK party has dominated Turkish politics for 16 years

The AK party has dominated Turkish politics for 16 years Credit Volkan Furuncu Anadolu Agency Getty Images

Turkish opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has secured its first victory in the mayoral election in Ankara since 1994, with the party's candidate outrunning his rival from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) by a narrow margin.

The Turkish lira firmed on Monday, clawing back early losses after President Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party lost control of the capital Ankara in local elections and trailed in Istanbul, Turkey's largest city, as the last votes were tallied. CHP candidate Ekrem Imamoglu stated that his party's data "guarantees" his triumph, claiming that he won by a margin of some 28,000 votes. "We know how to congratulate (a winner) but the process is continuing".

Turkey's opposition candidate for Istanbul mayor Ekrem Imamoglu was leading Monday by almost 28,000 votes with most ballot boxes counted, Supreme Election Board (YSK) chairman Sadi Guven said.

Differing results published by Anadolu Agency, which now places Yildirim in the lead by 0.5 percent, were not not provided by the country's official electoral authority, the YSK chief added.

Turkey's opposition is now leading in a knife-edge race to secure the country's largest city, Istanbul, despite the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) having claimed a victory hours before, the chief of Turkey's electoral authority said on Monday morning.

Ankara and Istanbul are the biggest prizes at stake in nationwide elections that are seen as the last major test for Erdogan before presidential elections in 2023.

If confirmed, the swings in Ankara and Istanbul could be excruciating for the politician who campaigned hard to retain hold of them.

Yavas had been slightly ahead in some recent opinion polls before the election. The difference between the People's Alliance and the Nation's Alliance of the opposition in June elections was around 20 percent, but it has now decreased to 15 percent.

The party would appeal results wherever needed, he added.

In Sirnak, which was considered an HDP stronghold, AKP candidate Mehmet Yarka won with 62 percent of votes.

Turkey will also have its first communist mayor, in the eastern province of Tunceli.

"If one vote is filled in incorrectly in each ballot box, this equals 31,136 votes, which is more than the difference", Yildirim said.

Speaking as the results were still being counted, Erdogan said that the outcome of the elections would be the "nation's will". The AKP has said there were problems with many votes in both cities, and it would appeal results in every Ankara district.

In a speech early on Monday, Erdogan pledged to focus on Turkey's economic troubles.

"While all previous AKP electoral victories were perceived as a source of political stability, on this occasion investors could be reluctant to give the administration benefit of the doubt that the next four years will be dominated by efforts to rebalance the economy and address structural vulnerabilities", Matys said.

"We will decide what kind of Turkey we want for ourselves and our children as well".

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